LB Alec Ogletree signed to Jets practice squad after two seasons with Giants

The New York Jets have signed linebacker Alec Ogletree to their practice squad, the team announced Thursday.

Ogletree had been one of the league's highest-paid inside linebackers with the New York Giants over the past two years at $10 million per season. But Ogletree's play dropped off during that span. He became a liability in pass coverage and was released by the Giants on Feb. 26.

The 28-year-old provides insurance because the Jets are thin at inside linebacker, in part because C.J. Mosley opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

They have only three inside linebackers on the active roster: Neville Hewitt, Blake Cashman and Avery Williamson, who is practicing with a minor hamstring issue.

Coach Adam Gase said older players such as Ogletree can benefit from the new practice squad rules, which allow up to six players with unlimited experience to be on a 16-man squad.

"I think it's an advantage to this year's rules, especially the opportunity to come in and see where you're at physically and get yourself ready, not being with us in camp," Gase said. "I don't think we're the only ones doing that with some guys. I think it's a great opportunity for guys to not put themselves in a bad position where they get rushed into an active-roster spot."

But that could happen to Ogletree. Williamson didn't practice Thursday, clouding his status for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Ogletree, who worked out recently for the Jets, already knows the system because he played under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. They were together from 2014 to 2016 with the Rams.

Ogletree was one of general manager Dave Gettleman's first major acquisitions with the Giants, who thought he could be plugged into the middle of the defense and make a significant impact after the team traded two draft picks to the Rams for him in 2018.

He played in 13 games in each of the past two seasons with the Giants. He had 80 tackles, a sack and an interception last year and 93 tackles, a sack and five interceptions in 2018.

The eighth-year veteran was again slated to make $10 million in 2020 and was scheduled to be the fourth-highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL, but none of the money was guaranteed. The Giants took a dead money hit of $3.5 million by cutting Ogletree and saved $8.25 million against the salary cap.

Ogletree played the first five years of his career with the Rams, topping 100 tackles in three of his first four seasons. The second-team All-Pro in 2016 has career totals of 674 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions. He also has four defensive touchdowns.

The Jets also announced that they had signed wide receiver Jaleel Scott to their practice squad and placed wide receiver Donte Moncrief on practice squad injured reserve.

Scott was a fourth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 out of New Mexico State. He played in three games last season and had one catch for 6 yards after spending his rookie season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Moncrief signed with the Jets on Aug. 31, was a final cut and then was signed to the team's practice squad the next day. He has played in 77 career games (43 starts) and has 204 receptions for 2,561 yards (12.6 yards per reception) and 21 touchdowns.

ESPN's Rich Cimini and Jordan Raanan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.